AudioDateDownLeftRightUpIconClosefacebookReportGallerySettingsGiftLanguageGridListMapMenunoAudionoPhotoPhotoPlayPlusSearchStartwitterUserVideo

Red-legged Seriema Cariama cristata

Sections

The Red-legged Seriema is a striking, unmistakable bird of open woodland, thorny scrub and hilly grassland. Its large size, bright red legs and bill, and prominent loose crest make it a visually distinctive species. These birds are capable predators and opportunistic feeders with a varied diet, taking a wide range of foods including arthropods, lizards, snakes, small rodents, eggs, corn and other grans, and wild fruit. One of their most fascinating features is their characteristic method of dealing with vertebrate prey. The prey animal is grabbed in the bill, killed by violent shaking and beating on the substrate, and subsequently torn into pieces and consumed. The species is also well-known for their barking song, which is performed in duets by pairs of birds in the early morning. Breeding times for this species vary by subpopulations; birds in northeast Brazil breed February-July, while those in central Brazil breed November-December. Some populations of Red-legged Seriemas have local movements, but overall the species is sedentary and has no distinct migratory pattern. Red-legged Seriemas are widespread but uncommon throughout their range, and in some places they even are hunted for their meat. 

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more

Song

© Tom Johnson

Enlarge
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Red-legged Seriema (Cariama cristata), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/relser1